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Dengue virus (DENV) is a leading cause of illness and death, mainly in the (sub)tropics, where it causes dengue fever and/or the more serious diseases dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome that are associated with changes in vascular permeability. Despite extensive research, the pathogenesis of DENV is still poorly understood and, although endothelial cells represent the primary fluid barrier of the blood vessels, the extent to which these cells contribute to DENV pathology is still under debate. The primary target cells for DENV are dendritic cells and monocytes/macrophages that release various chemokines and cytokines upon infection, which can activate the endothelium and are thought to play a major role in DENV-induced vascular permeability. However, recent studies indicate that DENV also replicates in endothelial cells and that DENV-infected endothelial cells may directly contribute to viremia, immune activation, vascular permeability and immune targeting of the endothelium. Also, the viral non-structural protein-1 and antibodies directed against this secreted protein have been reported to be involved in endothelial cell dysfunction. This review provides an extensive overview of the effects of DENV infection on endothelial cell physiology and barrier function. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.